A post-pandemic buzzword being thrown around is “The Great Resignation”. Also known as the “Big Quit” or the “Great Reshuffle” or the “Big Switcheroo”, it began in early 2021 and is described as an ongoing economic trend in which resigning mid-career employees quit their jobs en masse.
Cited causes are the rising cost of living, wage stagnation, job dissatisfaction, and safety concerns of the Covid-19 pandemic. Companies with better remote-working policies began to sprout, as well. And if we were to be very candid about it, the Great Resignation can be likened to a general strike.
In the United States, resignation rates never went beyond 2.40% of the total workforce per month. This quit rate fell to 1.60% during the pandemic but surprisingly went beyond pre-pandemic levels despite labor shortages.
Why would mid-career employees quit in a heartbeat at a time like this?
For one, the lockdowns forced everyone to rethink their careers. It made employees take a second look at their work conditions and long-term goals. It became apparent that more workers sought the flexibility of remote work. Many found the work-life balance they so craved and couldn’t look back. Those dealing with the effects of “long Covid” find that their ability to work is changed for the long term.
The mass departure is being driven by Generation Z (those born mid to late 1990s until 2010s) and Millennials (Or Generation Y, those born between 1981 to 1996) who are more likely to be dissatisfied with their work. These are the generations currently mid-career. It comes as no surprise that resignation rates are the highest among mid-career employees.
Mid-career professionals are those who have moved past entry-level but are not necessarily near the end of their careers. They have developed significant expertise in one or more areas. Companies have invested heavily in their training. They are also at that stage where they are more passionate about their fields. In brief, the mid-career professionals are the ones you would like to retain in your company. They ensure smooth transitions and are the ones who are likely to pass on the desired company culture.
Unfortunately, Millennials are leaving in droves. How do we make them stay?
While a remote work setup can be a huge reason for your mid-career employees to quit, offering professional development opportunities is a huge game-changer for many organizations. All things held equal (competitive pay, perks, work-life balance), your mid-career employee will always prefer a work culture that keeps them ENGAGED.
More than role familiarity, employee engagement describes the level of enthusiasm and dedication a worker feels toward their job. An engaged employee cares deeply about their work, their performance, and how their efforts make a difference. They’re in it for more than a paycheck and consider their well-being closely linked to their performance and the company’s success.
How do we make these crucial team members stay? Focus on what motivates them. What they want are COLLABORATION and GROWTH. They want to KNOW THAT THEY ARE DOING WELL and HAVE METRICS TO SHOW FOR IT.
An approach that works well is by initiating training.
Not just any type of training — a STRATEGIC, COLLABORATIVE APPROACH TO LEARNING.
How does a collaborative approach to learning work? Keep in mind that today’s employees expect to take an active role in their own development. They want synthesized personal and career paths. Employees who quit, turns out, were frustrated at the organization’s failure at helping them evolve. Mid-career employees still crave growth despite their niche skillsets.
An apt system of learning involves:
- Psychologically safe training; and
- Problem-solving course work (a problem-solving, post-training learning circle/group formed around a shared interest or common goal)
Sprinkle some branding in …
Marketing and Human Resources Departments have been collaborating to build up their brands. Brands that have been aligning themselves with progress, connection, and employee development are highly likely to retain staff. The goal here is two-fold. 1 – Make your employees stay and 2 – engage them as brand ambassadors.
In a study conducted by David R. Mayer (Senior Partner, Lippincott, Oliver Wyman’s creative Brand, and Innovation consultancy) and Kate Bravery (Global Advisory and Insight Leader, Mercer (Marsh McLennan)), strengthening the brand does more than just attract customers. It inspires employees as well. “Employees who love the brands they work for are often inspired by the mission, values, and the services that their company delivers. They feel a strong connection with their company, especially if the internal culture reflects the values that companies externally promote. When employees feel appreciated, cared for, and inspired, they go to great lengths to make a company successful.”
Care to dig deeper into employee retention?
Consider the following articles and training resources to add to this conversation:
- What is performance Enablement?
- The Great Resignation Root Cause
- TIGERS 6 Principles Leadership Fundamentals
Copyright TIGERS Success Series, Inc. by Dianne Crampton